March 23, 2010

Judge rules lesbian high-schooler's First Amendment rights violated

Posted: 06:43 PM ET

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a lesbian high school student's First Amendment rights were violated when school officials told her she could not attend her prom with her girlfriend, but also ruled that he would not order the school district to hold the event. 

In his 12-page order, U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson ruled that Itawamba Agricultural High School's denial of 18-year-old Constance McMillen's request to wear a tuxedo to her prom was also a violation of her rights. "The record shows Constance has been openly gay since eighth grade and she intended to communicate a message by wearing a tuxedo and to express her identity through attending prom with a same-sex date," Davidson wrote.

"The court finds this expression and communication of her viewpoint is the type of speech that falls squarely within the purview of the First Amendment."

When officials at the school in Fulton, Mississippi, told McMillen she could not take her girlfriend to the prom or wear a tuxedo at the event, the senior went to the American Civil Liberties Union, which demanded the school change its policy. In response, the Itawamba County School District canceled the prom.

But Davidson denied a motion for an injunction filed by McMillen against the school district's superintendent, the school's principal and its assistant principal asking the court to order that the prom be reinstated.

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Filed under: Justice

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DR GARY   March 23rd, 2010 7:58 pm ET

Civil Liberties Union, (IS A PILE OF DOG DODO. The best I can use online. )which demanded the school change its policy. (like I said, they are a pile of, DOG DODO.) In response, the Itawamba County School District canceled the prom. TO BAD THE SCHOOL CANCELED FOR THE OTHERS. It’s time Americans stand up against the Communist Liberties Union. Don’t change policy. To bad little chick! Bite the bullet.

Joie Lake   March 23rd, 2010 11:43 pm ET

In today's world the principal was an idiot. This action had lawsuit written all over it.

Cali MJ Fan   March 24th, 2010 12:58 am ET

GO Constance GO! You were great and so sweet on Ellen. Your father is so supportive and strong for what he said to the school officials. Good for him. Wanda Sykes mentioned you later on George Lopez's Lopez Tonight and she is going to have you present her award. AWESOME! Stand up for what you believe in. Stand up for who you are. NEVER SETTLE.

You are an inspiration and such a strong young woman and you have a lot of support out here. Wishing you all the best! GOOD LUCK!

Eddie   March 24th, 2010 5:54 am ET


Lori - Justice for Michael   March 24th, 2010 12:49 pm ET

While I applaud the Judge for ruling that Ms. McMillen's constitutional rights were violated; he should have also granted the injunction. Canceling the prom was a ridiculous idea on thepart of the school board and it punishes all the students for no reason. Have the prom! Move on! Let people be who they are.

Hugh in California   March 24th, 2010 2:33 pm ET

Constance McMillen's constitutional rights were violated - plain and simple. Although people have a right to disagree or oppose same-sex relationships, I am not one of them, and no one has the right to interfere with others whose lifestyle does not fit in with their own.

@Dr. Gary,
Your attempt to divert your dislike to the ACLU does not change the obvious - that you're an angry bitter homophobic individual.

Expat American   March 24th, 2010 2:38 pm ET

Why are some so afraid of who others are attracted too?

Adam   June 11th, 2010 5:56 pm ET

This country is disgusting.

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